In Parashat Vayishlach, Jacob reconciles with Esau after wrestling with a “man”. The prince Shechem rapes Dinah, whose brothers sack the city of Shechem in revenge. In the family’s subsequent flight, Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and dies in childbirth.
In the Haftorah, a cursed is declared over Edom because of how they mistreated Israel when they were attacked by the Babyloniains.
In the Apostolics, Hebrews speaks of the faith in action that showed the greatness of the forefathers and and others. The portion from Mark brings us the maxim, “the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The eighth portion of the book of Beresheet/Genesis is Vayishlach, which means “He Sent.” This is the 8th Torah Portion.
Torah: Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftorah: Obadiah 1:1-21
Apostolic: Hebrews 11:13-21; Mark 14:32-38
You can read or listen to the portions below:
This is the vision of ‘Ovadyah. Here is what The LORD Elohim says about Edom. As a messenger was being sent among the nations saying, “Come on, let’s attack her,” we heard a message from The LORD: “I am making you the least of all nations, you will be beneath contempt. Your proud heart has deceived you, you whose homes are caves in the cliffs, who live on the heights and say to yourselves, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ If you make your nest as high as an eagle’s, even if you place it among the stars, I will bring you down from there.” says The LORD. If thieves were to come to you, or if robbers by night (Oh, how destroyed you are!), wouldn’t they stop when they’d stolen enough? If grape-pickers came to you, Wouldn’t they leave some grapes for gleaning? But see how ‘Esav has been looted, their secret treasures searched out! Your allies went with you only to the border, those at peace with you deceived and defeated you, those who ate your food set a trap for you, and you couldn’t discern it. “When that Day comes,” says The LORD, “won’t I destroy all the wise men of Edom and leave no discernment on Mount ‘Esav? Your warriors, Teman, will be so distraught that everyone on Mount ‘Esav will be slaughtered. For the violence done to your kinsman Ya‘akov, shame will cover you; and you will be forever cut off. On that day you stood aside, while strangers carried off his treasure, and foreigners entered his gates to cast lots for Yerushalayim — you were no different from them. You shouldn’t have gloated over your kinsman on their day of disaster or rejoiced over the people of Y’hudah on their day of destruction. You shouldn’t have spoken arrogantly on a day of trouble or entered the gate of my people on their day of calamity — no, you shouldn’t have gloated over their suffering on their day of calamity or laid hands on their treasure on their day of calamity. You shouldn’t have stood at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives or handed over their survivors on a day of trouble.” For the Day of The LORD is near for all nations; as you did, it will be done to you; your dealings will come back on your own head. For just as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink in turn; yes, they will drink and gulp it down and be as if they had never existed. But on Mount Tziyon there will be a holy remnant who will escape, and the house of Ya‘akov will repossess their rightful inheritance. The house of Ya‘akov will be a fire and the house of Yosef a flame, setting aflame and consuming the stubble which is the house of ‘Esav. None of the house of ‘Esav will remain, for The LORD has spoken. Those in the Negev will repossess the mountain of ‘Esav, and those in the Sh’felah the land of the P’lishtim; they will repossess the field of Efrayim and the field of Shomron, and Binyamin will occupy Gil‘ad. Those from this army of the people of Isra’el exiled among the Kena‘anim as far away as Tzarfat, and the exiles from Yerushalayim in S’farad, will repossess the cities in the Negev. Then the victorious will ascend Mount Tziyon to rule over Mount ‘Esav, but the kingship will belong to The LORD
All these people kept on trusting until they died, without receiving what had been promised. They had only seen it and welcomed it from a distance, while acknowledging that they were aliens and temporary residents on the earth. For people who speak this way make it clear that they are looking for a fatherland. Now if they were to keep recalling the one they left, they would have an opportunity to return; but as it is, they aspire to a better fatherland, a heavenly one. This is why G-d is not ashamed to be called their G-d, for he has prepared for them a city. By trusting, Avraham, when he was put to the test, offered up Yitz’chak as a sacrifice. Yes, he offered up his only son, he who had received the promises, to whom it had been said, “What is called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak.” For he had concluded that G-d could even raise people from the dead! And, figuratively speaking, he did so receive him. By trusting, Yitz’chak in his blessings over Ya‘akov and Esav made reference to events yet to come. By trusting, Ya‘akov, when he was dying, blessed each of Yosef’s sons, leaning on his walking-stick as he bowed in prayer. By trusting, Yosef, near the end of his life, remembered about the Exodus of the people of Isra’el and gave instructions about what to do with his bones. By trusting, the parents of Moshe hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they weren’t afraid of the king’s decree. By trusting, Moshe, after he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose being mistreated along with G-d’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward. By trusting, he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered as one who sees the unseen. By trusting, he obeyed the requirements for the Pesach , including the smearing of the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Isra’el. By trusting, they walked through the Red Sea as through dry land; when the Egyptians tried to do it, the sea swallowed them up. By trusting, the walls of Yericho fell down — after the people had marched around them for seven days. By trusting, Rachav the prostitute welcomed the spies and therefore did not die along with those who were disobedient.
They went to a place called Gat Sh’manim; and Yeshua said to his talmidim, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Kefa, Ya‘akov and Yochanan. Great distress and anguish came over him; and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake.” Going on a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that if possible, the hour might pass from him: “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”) “All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me! Still, not what I want, but what you want.” He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Kefa, “Shim‘on, are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test — the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”